I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for an affordable 75% keyboard
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We’re taking a look at a 75% keyboard today, the YUNZII KC84 Front Carved red version. This is a hot-swap board featuring Gateron mechanical switches and it is available in the typical Red, Black, Brown and Blue flavours. The KC84 features stylised keycaps made of 85% PBT, and these are dye-sublimated. There are quite a few different keycap styles to choose from, and you even have the option of going for side print. This board has the expected NKRO, and comes with a detachable USB-C cable.
So the first thing that caught my eye here was the custom design. This KC84 version features beige alphanumerics with a mixture of red and black on the surrounding keycaps. The two-piece case is available in red and black, and I must say this red one goes really with the keycaps. I really like the fact that there are no Fn icons printed, and it contributes to the clean look of the board. The legends have a top left positioning with an elegantly thin font, giving the KC84 a classy appearance. Even though the keycaps aren’t shinethrough, the board still features RGB, and the underglow looks surprisingly stylish. I’m really impressed by the aesthetics here, and it’s a lot more exciting than a generic white or black design. Just take note that these keycaps have the Cherry profile, which basically feels like a lower version of OEM.
The unit I have here features Gateron Blacks, and these are heavy linears with an actuation force of 60g. I’m actually looking to switch to heavier linears on my main board, as I have been struggling with typos on my lubed Gateron Reds. I was considering the Gateron Yellows or these Gateron Blacks. The Blacks offer a very nice typing experience, and the heavier springs definitely result in less accidental keypresses, so my typing accuracy was much better. As expected from a Gateron Linear switch, you get that silky smooth feel that is almost comparable to an enthusiast switch. The Cherry keycaps feel great for typing and gaming, and they also contribute to a nice gentle bottom out sound. Great to see that the case comes with pre-installed foam, which further helps to create that soft and gentle sound. I also had no issues with metal ping on the KC84.
The stabilisers are decent, and there was no noticeable rattle when I started typing on the keyboard. The space bar stabs are heavily lubed, to the point that there is some excess grease on the stems. So a little bit messy, but you can easily do your own modding with the hot swap feature. No factory lube on any of the other stabs. All things considered, I was very happy with the keyboard’s typing experience, especially the sound. I really enjoyed the combination of Gateron Blacks and Cherry keycaps.
What I like about the 75% layout is that it’s only one row wider than a 60% board while having 84 keys, so you don’t sacrifice nearly as much functionality. It’s obviously one row taller as well, but width is more important than height, as we want that extra real estate for the mouse. So it basically gives you the same functionality as a TKL, minus the Scrl Lock, Insert and Menu keys, which I don’t use anyways. This is a great layout for work and play balance, and you’ll also find this style on boards like the Keychron K2 and AKKO 3084. The board is packed with functionality, incoporating dedicated arrow keys, a Nav Cluster and complete F-Row. There are of course a few non-standard keys, such as the 1.75U right Shift and 1U bottom right modifiers. If you’re used to the bigger 2.75U right Shift, it will take a few hours to reprogram that muscle memory. The 75% layout has a very compressed look and there is no partitioning like on a TKL, but the coloured keycaps were really helpful in finding the different areas.
The KC84 features a full plastic construction. Understandably there is some bend in the frame, but it felt solid during actual use and should be able to withstand some punishment. The bottom features four rubber feet as well as rubber tipped fold outs, and the board sat firmly in place. I did find the angle quite steep, but I adjusted after a few hours. The keycaps are 85% dye sublimated PBT with a thickness of 1.4mm – exceptional quality here, and you don’t have to worry about grease, keycap wear or legends fading. Quite an interesting build: there are no screws connecting the mounting plate to the case mounting points, and the plate actually clicks into the top cover of the case, which is why it is curved at the top and bottom. The KC84 is a hot swap board, which means you can remove the switches without the need for desoldering. This is a very important feature for me, as it makes it really easy to do customisation like lubing the switches or modding the stabs.
As mentioned, these keycaps aren’t shinethrough so you only get an underglow. The mounting plate has also been painted white to increase the potency. The underglow looks beautiful on this board, especially in a semi-dark environment. There are a total of 19 RGB effects, which can be cycled with Fn + Pause. You can set single colours via Fn + Home, and what’s quite nice here is that there is a shortcut to the static colour mode, which is on Fn + Esc. This saves you the time of having to cycle to that particular mode. You also have the ability to Pause and Unpause the backlighting, which is a pretty nifty feature. Apart from that we have all the usual RGB controls, including speed and brightness adjustment, as well as RGB toggling.
The software can be downloaded from Yunzii’s website. Initially I experienced a problem where the user interface had blank buttons, but after setting the language to English it was working. If you’re experiencing this problem, just go to settings and make sure you select English. Your remapping options include single key and macros. Then you can change the RGB mode, and there is a useful RGB colour picker that gives you more options than the keyboard’s Fn layer. There is also a little RGB studio where you can create your own colour modes.The software is fairly barebones but all the essential functionality is present.
So the KC84 is an impressive little board. There aren’t many mainstream 75% boards on the market, which is quite surprising as this is a great balance between small form factor and functionality. I really liked the stylised look here, and the typing experience was very good. I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for an affordable 75% keyboard.